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People are using the recycling bin

But not everyone is using it right


Last updated 2/19/2020 at 9:25am

People have been using the recycling receptacles placed at the Delano Regional Transfer Station, but not everyone has been using them correctly, resulting in contaminated loads which could lead to the recycling service going away.

The Regional Board of Mayors meeting didn’t get around to addressing the agenda items at their Feb. 10 meeting due to a mayor or representative from Elmer City not being present to complete the quorum; however, the three mayors present — Diane Kohout, of Electric City; Paul Townsend, of Grand Coulee; and Bob Poch, of Coulee Dam — listened to a report from Randy Gumm, the manager of the transfer station.

Gumm said the recycling bins have been getting filled with things that aren’t supposed to be in them, including the mixed paper compartment getting filled with cardboard, garbage getting thrown in, and the wrong types of aluminum, such as cat food containers and tin foil being thrown in with aluminum soda and beer cans.

“It’s sad,” Gumm said. “I knew that this was going to happen. I really wish that it wouldn’t because a lot of effort has been put into starting this program again.”

Gumm said he showed the bins to a friend and asked if the signage explaining what was accepted was vague or ambiguous in anyway; she told him the signs were clear to her.

Having the bins outside the gates of the transfer station is important, Gumm said, because if people can’t access them after hours they will leave recycling material outside the gates.

Gumm is weighing the pros and cons on moving the cardboard container, currently within the gates, outside the gates with the other recycle bins.

“It doesn’t really make sense to have mixed paper and plastic and the electronic stuff out where people can actually use it, whenever they want to, but the cardboard bin is locked up inside the gate,” he said.

Ramifications of moving the cardboard container outside the gates would include no longer charging two cents per pound for recycling it, no longer being able to compact it, and the difficulty for some people to lift the cardboard up into the bin, whereas now they can back a truck up to the bin and slide their cardboard into it.

“I don’t think we’ll ever make everybody happy, but there are a few people doing a really nice job and I really don’t want to cut them out or make it harder,” Gumm said.

“The important message to get out of this is that if this gets continually abused, it will go away,” Townsend said about the recycling program.

Dion Gotti who owns Sunrise Disposal didn’t seem too concerned in an email to The Star.

“Contamination has been relatively low at this point,” he said. “What happened last week is someone put a load of cardboard in the mixed paper container. The cardboard still had all the packaging in it, including non-recyclable plastic and wrapping. … The key is what we accept and don’t accept. No plastic bags, plastic wrap, clamshell food containers. We can only accept number 1 and 2 plastics. Three through seven are not accepted.”


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